Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Affinity


            The wedding reception was nearly over and Karen had managed to avoid Henry’s attention. She was struggling with a tray piled high with half-eaten plates of chicken cordon bleu when the ladies room door opened.
            “Excuse me,”  she whispered. “Please! I need help. I got my veil stuck in my zipper!”
            Karen nearly dropped the tray when she made eye contact with the bride.
            “Do you want me to get one of your bridesmaids? Or maybe your mother?”
            “Can you just come in and help? I tried to find someone when it was time to change out of my wedding gown, but all my friends seem to have snuck off with groomsmen. And I think my mother had too much to drink,” she added as her face turned red.
            “Well, I know what that’s like,” Karen muttered. “Hang on a second. Let me put this tray somewhere. I don’t want to get food on your dress.”
            “Thank you!”
            When Karen returned the bride was repairing the damage to her makeup her tears had caused.
            “Don’t worry. We’ll get you out of that dress.”
            “I can’t believe no one’s come looking for me. No one’s noticed the bride is missing.”
            “You’ve thrown a great party. Everyone’s too busy having fun,” Karen reassured her. She tried to budge the zipper, but it gripped the gossamer fabric like a vise.
            “Almost everyone,” the bride whispered.
            Karen tried to ignore the look of sadness in her eyes. She wanted to hate this woman, but she only felt pity. Her elegant gown and perfect skin and tiny waist couldn’t hide the fact that she was miserable on her own wedding day.
            “I’m so sorry, but I think I’m going to have to rip the veil to get the zipper to move.”
            “That’s fine,” the bride said. “It’s not like I’m planning on wearing it again.” She smiled ever so slightly and Karen found herself giggling.
            “Here goes,” said Karen and she pulled the sheer fabric upward while tugging the zipper down. There was a small ripping sound and the bride exhaled with relief.
            “Thank you so much,” she said. “You’re a life saver. I don’t even know your name?”
            A knock came to the door.
            “Mindy? Are you okay in there?”  Karen recognized Henry’s voice instantly.
            “See?” Karen whispered. “Your Prince Charming is looking for you.”
            Mindy smiled, the sadness gone. The blushing bride had returned.
            “I’m fine,” she called. “I’ll be out in a minute. I had some trouble with my zipper but I got some help from....”
            “Ka.... Caroline,” Karen said as she forced a smile. “I’ll hang up your gown. You finish getting dressed and go to your husband.”
            Mindy blushed again. “My husband. I’m so lucky.”
            “You are. Don’t keep him waiting Mrs. Petersen.”
 

            Today I’m linking up with Write on Edge’s new prompt called “Write at the Merge”. We’re given two things to inspire our writing—songs, images, words, quotations. This week it was two words—gossamer and affinity. If you’ve enjoyed this piece, please check out the rest of Karen’s story here.